Philippine Airlines review. Business Class. KUL-MNL-MEL. And the (huge) new lounge in MNL!

Austman

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This is a updated (or almost repeat) of my previous TR last year:

Philippine Airlines review. Business Class. SIN-MNL-MEL​


There are still good business class fares to be found. And if anything, Philippine Airlines (PR) in business class has actually improved.

There's now a very spacious and brand new (opened in December 2023) international lounge in MNL T1. That's the NAIA T1 Mabuhay Lounge.

This TR however begins in KUL.

The route is KUL-MNL-MEL. It priced, one-way, at around AUD 1,100.00 on some days.
 
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Flight 1
KUL-MNL 15:45-19:35 PR528 A321 seat 1C


This was an OK flight. The PR A321 seat in business class is more like a domestic business class seat with a 2-2 layout, recliner (not full flat) seats.

A bit of an issue at KUL T1 is that PR use the Plaza Premium lounge which is in the Main terminal. But PR flights depart from the Satellite terminal. Currently that needs a bus transfer. It's fairly quick but still takes time that must be factored in.

Pre-departure was a bit of a disappointment. No hot/cold towels. And no champagne or any other alcoholic beverage until after take off.

Service in flight was fine. Menus attached. Although PR's wine list is still pretty poor, I think it's actually improved. :)

The inflight entertainment was only via on-board wifi, which in my case did not work. I filled out the details, then pressed the "connect" button, then nothing.

The menu:

IMG_E1348.JPGIMG_E1351.JPGIMG_E1350.JPG
 
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Flight 2
MNL-MEL 21:25-08:35+1 PR209 A330 seat 4K


This was an excellent flight.

Airside transit from my earlier flight was pretty simple. MNL NAIA T1 is no great shakes but PR have opened a brand new Mabuhay Lounge and it's a bit wow:

IMG_1352.JPGIMG_1353.JPGIMG_E1354.JPG

It's huge with lots of new seating and tables and windows (not in my photos, sorry). And showers. It really is quite beautiful.

Wine choices were limited! Just one red (Australian) and one white (USA). But plenty of other beverages available.

Overall, the new lounge was so much better than what PR previously used at MNL T1.
 
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On board and this time pre-departure was done right. Towels and champagne (or anything else) available.

It seems PR has around 9 x A330-330s that it uses internationally. Of those, 5 have the newer 1-2-1 business class configuration and have premium economy while 4 have a 2-2-2 business class configuration and no premium economy.

For business class, the newer 1-2-1 configuration is the one to get, if possible.

And this time I did.

Seat 4K is an excellent seat. Fully flat. In the 1-2-1 layout, 4K is a 1 with a window. It was pretty much the most comfortable business class seat I have had as far as leg room and width is concerned.

The amenity kit is quite good. Payot products. And the menu was reasonable:

IMG_1355.JPGIMG_1356.JPGIMG_1360.JPGIMG_E1361.JPG

Entertainment this time was on a large and sharp screen.

Service was very nice.

I slept well for most of the flight.
 
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All up, I was pretty happy.

Both flights on time. In flight service very nice. Food OK. Not a great wine list!

Now there's a very nice lounge in MNL T1.

Above all, it was very comfortable on the A330 in the 1-2-1 business class re seating.

The crew for PR 209 (MNL-MEL overnight) even asked when taking dinner orders before departure: "If you fall asleep before the meal service, shall we wake you"?

Nice!
 
Great TR and good to see some positive feedback on PR. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a while and will have had several trips to/from Australia with them and they have been fine. The lounge looks like a massive step up which is great. Lack of a decent FFP or partner is a bit of a bummer but for the price I’m not too fussed. Most likely going to book them in October to return from KL, $886 KUL-MNL-SYD but we love Manila so will stop over for a day or two most likely. Only around $1500 return so if I can convince Mrs Jase to head back early next year I will do that as it’s a great nesting fare and we have done it previously with PR
 
Good TR @Austman .

Great TR and good to see some positive feedback on PR. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a while and will have had several trips to/from Australia with them and they have been fine. ... as it’s a great nesting fare

nesting fare?
Is fare same if booked from SYD?
 
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Good TR @Austman .



nesting fare?
Is fare same if booked from SYD?
Nowhere near it. PR normally has their cheap prices ex Asia not the other way
SYD-MNL-KUL is $3600 return or $2250 one way.
The other way is $1500 return so I’m basically getting a free flight back to KUL from SYD.
 
Hey great review! just wondering if there is anyway during the booking process to know if the new or old plane will be used?
 
Hey great review! just wondering if there is anyway during the booking process to know if the new or old plane will be used?
It seems PR has around 9 x A330-330s that it uses internationally. Of those, 5 have the newer 1-2-1 business class configuration and have premium economy while 4 have a 2-2-2 business class configuration and no premium economy.
so yez there is - would need to check to see if PE is on the particular jet or not...

from the sounds of the TR - it was one of the newer ones flying to Melbourne
 

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